150, St-Paul Street, St. Albert, ON K0A 3C0
Did you know that St-Albert Cheese Coop is one of the oldest cooperatives in Canada?
As early as the late 19th century, master cheesemakers in a charming Eastern Ontario village were already producing a high-quality Cheddar: the St-Albert. Founding President Louis Génier and his nine partners could hardly have imagined back on January 8, 1894, that their little cheese factory would shape the history of the entire community and become a true regional institution.
Back in those days, there were lots of smaller local cheese factories, and the one in St-Albert was officially known as Fromagerie # 743 and registered as “The St-Albert Co-Operative Cheese Manufacturing Association”, this even before the famous Desjardins co-operative movement started (in 1900).
The Centenary and the Curd Festival
In 1994, the St-Albert Cheese Co-operative struck a special committee to prepare for its 100th anniversary. Roger Cayer wrote a book about the history of the Co-operative entitled Souvenances de la Fromagerie # 743. A great deal of research went into this book, which is filled with information and period photographs. Another highlight of the 100th anniversary was the first edition of the curd festival. Over the years since 1994, the Festival has become one of the big events of the summer, attracting up to 50,000 visitors annually to St-Albert for five days of shows and festivities.
True to the principles established by the founders in 1894, five generations of dairy producers and artisans have successfully developed and maintained the Co-operative’s tradition of quality cheeses. A fertile environment, a co-operative approach to every challenge, and a so-far unmatched expertise have earned St-Albert cheese its enviable reputation.
From 1994 to now
Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors stop by the St-Albert shop to buy our delicious cheeses and local products.
In 2007, the St-Albert Cheese Co-operative opened a second shop in Orleans, Cheddar Et Cetera , and in 2009 it purchased Fromagerie Mirabel, in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec. Over the years, many of the cheese products made in St-Albert have won awards in national and international competitions, including the Toronto Winter Fair, the Spencerville Fair, the British Empire Cheese Show and the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix. In 2012, the Co-operative had its best year ever, employing 125 people, all driven by the same commitment to quality and freshness, the foundations of the Co-operative’s success.